Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats


ETYMOLOGY  OF LOCAL NAMES,                                         337
id account for the afHx vdpL Tills one proved! exception cannot? however,
be regarded as a fatal objection ; for the same effect may result from Terr
different causes ; as, for instance, the Hindi word Mr in the sense of * a day
of the week * represents the Sankrit vdra ; while if taken to mean.£ water,*
or c a child,' It stands In the one case for ran", in the other Mia, Thus in the
particular word Majhoi, the o may belong to the first element of the compound
and the i be the affix of possession.
• Ana is another termination of somewhat rare occurrence, This Is in all
probability an abbreviation of the Sanskrit ai/ana, which means primarily * a go-
ing/ e a road/ "but is also used in the wider sense of simply £ place.' An ex-
ample very much to the purpose is supplied by Vararuchi, or rather
by Ms commentator Bhamaha, who incidentally mentions munjdna, * a place
producing the munja plant/ as the Prakrit equivalent for the Sanskrit maunjd-
yana. The district contains nine places winch exhibit this ending, rzj., Bo-
tana, Halwana, Hathana, ilalirana, Sihana, Kaulana, Mirtana, Diwana, and
Barsana. But what -was only suspected in the case of the G-indoi group, ris.,
that ail the names do not really belong to the same category, is here suscep-
tible of positive proof. But to take first some of the words in "which c^ana
seems an appropriate affix ; SlMna, where is a pond called the kshfr sa^cir^ may
be for Kshirtiyana ; Dotana, derived on the spot from ddntonf * a tooth-brush/
which is suggestive of Buddhist legends and therefore of ancient sanctity, may
well be for Devatayana; Halwana, where an annual mela is celebrated in honour
of Balaiama, may have for its first element Hala-bhrit, a title of that hero, the
final t being elided and the bh changed into r ; while the first syllable in the
three names Hathana^ Kau!ana? and 31irtana? may represent respectively
Hasti, Komalj and Ainrit ; Ami-it Sinh being recorded fey tradition as the
founder of the last-named village. Bat the resemblance of Diwana and Bar-
Sana to any of the above is purely accidental. The former commemorates
the Jat fonader5 one Biwan Singh, whose name has been localized simply by
the addition of the affix a* while Barsana has a history of iis own, and that a
curious one. It is now famous as the reputed birth-place of B«acilia? wb Is the
only divinity that—for the last two centuries at least—lias been popularly as-
sociated with the locality. But of old it was not so : the hill on which the mo-
dem series of temples bas been erected in her liononr is of eccentric conforma-
tion, with four boldly-marked peaks ; whence it is still regarded by the local
Pandits as symbolical of the four-faced, divinity, and styled Brahma M p&Mr9
or'Brahma's hill.* This lingering tradition gives a clue to tlie etymology:
the latter part of the word being sdnu, which is identical in meaning with paJtdr
85